2019 marks the 400th anniversary of two important events in American history: The creation of the first representative assembly in English North America and the arrival of the first African people in English North America.
Why were these Virginia-based events significant and how have they impacted American history?
Cassandra Newby-Alexander, a scholar of African American and American History and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University, helps us find answers.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Cassandra Newby-Alexander, a scholar of African American and American History and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University, leads our investigation of why the creation of the first representative assembly and the arrival of the first African peoples in English North America were significant events.
During our exploration, Cassandra reveals details about the Virginia Company and the establishment of Jamestown and the Virginia Colony; When and why the Virginia Company ordered its colonists in Virginia to found a limited representative legislature; And information about how and why the First African peoples arrived in Virginia and about their experiences and impact in the young colony.
What You’ll Discover
- The Virginia Company and the establishment of Jamestown
- English settlement of Jamestown Island
- Struggles of the Jamestown settlement
- How Jamestown found stability
- Creation of the first representative assembly in English North America
- Representation in the first representative assembly
- Historical significance of the first representative assembly
- The arrival of the first Africans to English North America
- The experiences of the first Africans in Virginia
- African contributions to early Virginia society
- Enslavement versus indentured servitude
- How early Virginia society viewed the first Africans
- How links between servitude, race, and the law became intertwined
- Race and the law in colonial Virginia
- How early Virginia ideas inspired the approaches of other colonies to race and slavery
- Connections between the first representative assembly and the arrival of the First Africans
- Virginia’s commemorations of the 1619 events
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Cassandra Newby-Alexander
- Bibliography of Works on Jamestown and Virginia, 1619
- Virginia, 1619 Bonus Audio
- Ben Franklin’s World iOS app
- Ben Franklin’s World Android app
- John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World
- Linda Haywood & John Thornton, Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, 1585-1660
- Thomas Benjamin, The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and their Shared History, 1400–1900
- Martha W. McCartney
- James Horn, 1619: Jamestown and the Forging of American Democracy
- The Angela Archaeological Site, Historic Jamestowne
- American Evolution: Virginia to America, 1619-2019
- 1619 Making of America Summit, September 25-28, 2019, Norfolk State University
- Fort Monroe, Virginia
- Omohundro Institute
- Ben Franklin’s World Shop
- Virginia 1619: Slavery and Freedom in the Making of English America (Save 40 percent with promo code 01BFW)
Production of this episode was made possible by a grant from the Roller-Bottimore Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.
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- Episode 226: Ryan Quintana, Making the State of South Carolina
In your opinion, what if Virginia never passed racialized slave laws in the seventeenth century? How might the trajectory of race in American history have been different?
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